APR News & Classics

Family Suing Auburn PD Over Police Shooting, USDA Holds Veterans' Farm Workshops

Apr 5, 2016

After an unusual shooting death of a 36-year-old woman by Auburn police over the weekend, the woman’s parents are sharply criticizing law enforcement and pursuing legal action.

Michael and Terry Boarts say they called authorities to help get their daughter Melissa to a mental hospital, but the officers shot her instead.

Terry Boarts says she called police Sunday, saying her daughter was driving on a highway, had a knife and was threatening to kill herself. She says her daughter had been diagnosed as a bipolar manic depressive.

Police say the driver got out of her vehicle "armed with a weapon and charged the officers in a threatening manner." The officers shot and killed her.

Michael Boarts says the officer’s was "outrageous and asinine”, and completely unnecessary. The family has hired an attorney to pursue legal action.

Auburn Police Chief Paul Register says he’s confident that after a grand jury investigation, the community will understand why the shooting took place. The officer who shot Melissa Boarts has been placed on administrative leave.

Veterans looking for a career after their service have the opportunity to explore agriculture.

The USDA is offering workshops to veterans who are interested in setting up as farmers. The Farm Foundations for Veterans workshops are open to active duty service members, veterans and their spouses.

Cassondra Searight is public affairs specialist with the USDA Farm Services Agency. She says the workshops are aimed specifically at those with ten years of agriculture experience or less.

“One full day of farm tours, also a day and a half of in class instruction on how to get started farming, how to qualify for USDA programs, livestock production, vegetable production, marketing and business plan development.”         

The workshops will take place today through April 7 in Montgomery with others occurring across the state throughout the summer.

Even after losing a three-year legal battle, an Alabama casino is set to open back up. APR student reporter Parker Branton has more.

VictoryLand owner Milton McGregor says he will open his casino back up despite losing a fight over the legality of electronic bingo machines. He says he hopes to have the casino opened by early summer. 

McGregor was critical of last week’s Alabama Supreme Court ruling that the electronic gambling machines that had been seized are illegal.  The court ruled that the state could keep over a thousand gambling machines seized from VictoryLand in a 2013 raid. 

McGregor says he has plans with a machine manufacturer to provide electronic gaming for when VictoryLand is back in business.

The casino’s impending reopening could set off a new legal battle over the machines.